Who doesn’t love a neatly leveled lawn? Everyone wants to enjoy the even undisturbed greenery on their yard.
Having a bumpy lawn is not only harmful for aesthetic purposes but also for your families’ health. Bumps can cause accidents while children play on the lawn. Moreover, dips on the soil can lead to damaged drainage system and mosquito infestations.
However, keeping a lawn properly leveled is an ongoing process that requires a lot of time and energy. Also, you must have a lawn leveling rake. But this tool can be quite expensive.
Are you annoyed with tripping over your uneven lawn too? But don’t want to spend hundreds on buying a leveling rake? Then you are in the right place.
We understand that not everyone has the budget to buy pricy leveling rakes. Therefore, we’ll guide you on you how to make a lawn leveling rake at home with readily available tools and equipment.
So, jump right in!
What Is A Lawn Leveling Rake?
A lawn leveling rake is a simple piece of equipment that’s used for spreading the soil evenly and leveling the lawn. This is basically a wide metal frame with flat rakes. And the rakes have angled tines that push up the soil.
This tool generally has three components.
Leveling rakes usually have long handles. You can pile dead leaves easily by extending the handle. This handle can be made of wood or PVC.
Some handles include plastic covers for ensuring better grip. You should adjust the length based on your comfort and height.
The flat wide rakes attached to the handle are known as the head. The width of the head depends on how much area you want to cover at once.
The head is what removes dirt from bumps and levels the ground. You can also use it for evenly distributing fertilizers.
The head is lined with angled teeth for pushing up debris from the ground. When you push the leveling rake across the lawn, the teeth help in pulling out weed.
Moreover, the soil gets lifted where it’s high and then placed into sunken surfaces. After you make a few trips over the lawn with this, the soil becomes leveled.
Why You Must Have A Lawn Leveling Rake?
Wondering why you should make a lawn leveling rake? Read on to learn about its importance in keeping your lawn and your family healthy.
- A leveling rake will not only make your lawn leveled but also help in keeping it even in the future too. And no one can deny that a leveled lawn is pleasing to look at.
- You can walk with ease without fear of tripping on bumps and getting injured. And your children will also be safe while playing.
- Another incredible benefit of this tool is that your lawn won’t get bumps so often anymore. So, the water will flow evenly and the soil will ideal for healthy grass and plants.
- Mowing uneven lawn results in scalped spots. Using the leveling rake will make sure the bumps are gone. As a result, the mower will cut grass evenly and the task will be much faster.
- The rake will even out the dips in the lawn. So, no more water clogging and mosquito infestation.
- This tool is very easy to use. Once you make the rake, keeping your lawn leveled will be fairly simple.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting
By now you should be clear on why you need a leveling rake. However, making a DIY leveling rake can be difficult if you don’t know the proper steps.
Moreover, you need to take proper precautions and consider some important factors. Don’t fret, we have the mentioned steps you need to follow for achieving success and avoiding accidents.
1. Ensure Proper Workstation
Having a clean and spacious workstation is necessary for making a leveling rake. Make sure that all the required tools are organized and kept close to hand. Also, ensure proper lighting inside the workspace.
2. Hand Protection
Working with metals and bolts with bare hands is a recipe for disaster. You can get cuts and burn on your hand. So, wear a pair of good rubber gloves before starting.
3. Get Quality Tools
A leveling rake is something that’ll be used frequently. If you use low-quality bolts, they will rust and break within months. Therefore, use good quality nuts and bolts on them.
4. Appropriate Dimension
If proper dimension is not used, the end product will be unusable. So, make sure you have the length and width right. The leveling rake head should be between 30-50 inches in length. And the handle should be kept between 60 to 80 inches.
How To Make A Lawn Leveling Rake: A Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Gather The Tools
These are the tools you will need to collect before starting the project. You’ll find them in your local home improvement stores.
- Impact Ratchet
- M8 & M10 Drill Bit
- 3mm & 5mm Hex Bit
- 24-Inch Aluminum Channels
- 12-Inch & two 24-Inch Aluminum Angles
- M8 & M5 Lock washer
- M5 x 20mm & M8 x 35mm Counter Sunk Bolts
- M5 & M8 Nuts
- Broom adapter, broom handle, & a broom bracket
Step 2: Assemble The Rake Frame
- Get the aluminum angles and place them on top of a scrap wood piece. Make sure to place them in correct order, the 24-inch piece will be on top, the 12-inch piece will be on bottom. Otherwise, the holes may turn out misaligned.
- Use the M8 drill bit as bolts will sit perfectly in this sized hole.
- Keep the metal pieces in proper angle and drill through the aluminum until you hit the wood. Drill holes on four corners.
- Now, put the M5x20mm counter sunken bolts in the holes from the bottom.
- Then, place the washer, lock washer, nuts on the top.
- Use the impact ratchet and hex bit to tighten the bolts properly.
Step 3: Put Together The Channel
- Measure out the gap you want between the aluminum channels. Mark the drill points on the side of the frame.
- Place the channels in place accurately and make sure they are aligned right.
- Then use the M8 drill bit to drill all the holes.
- Next repeat the process of inserting M5 bolts from bottom with the nuts, lock washer and washer, do the similar for the top.
- Tighten everything to avoid loose bolts.
Step 4: Attach The Bracket & Broom Adapter
- First identify the center of middle channel.
- For creating pilot holes, place the bracket on top of middle channel and use the M8 drill bit.
- After creating two primary M8 holes, make them larger using the M10 bit.
- Then place the M8 sunken bolts from bottom.
- Place the broom adapter on top.
- Next, put the washer, lock washer, and nuts in place and tighten everything with impact ratchet.
Step 5: Add The Broom Handle
- Try pulling the rake head through soil and see if any parts seem loose fitting. If so, tighten them again.
- Now, attach the bottom of the broom handle to broom adapter.
- Tighten the nuts to make sure it doesn’t wiggle.
And you are done! Now, use this brand new leveling rake to make your lawn neat and leveled.
Tips And Cautions When Making A Lawn Leveling Rake
The above section has given you the knowledge for making your own lawn leveling rake. To make this task easier for you we've listed some tips for you. Follow these to achieve an excellent end result.
- If you are not a professional welder or don't have welding tools at home, get them precut from stores. This will ensure you get properly cut pieces and save you the trouble of buying or renting welding tools.
- Use at least 15-16 inches thick metal frames for ensuring durability.
- Go for counter sunk bolts as they will lay flat against the metal.
- Also, drill M8 holes to fit the bolts flush against the frame.
- Before drilling use a scrap piece of wood to place the metal at the right angle.
- After you have put together the frame check again to ensure that it's square.
- Before final use, test to see if any channel or frame is wiggling. If so, then tighten everything properly.
What Causes A Bumpy Lawn?
Now you know the steps of making lawn leveling rake. But before using it you must identify the reasons that make your lawn bumpy.
Plenty of factors play a role in making your lawn uneven. Here’s a few of them.
1. Broken Drainage System
The most common cause of uneven lawn is drainage problems. When drainage pipes break below ground, they can erode the lawn soil. This results in the lawn dipping down in places.
So, if there are such low spots in your lawn surrounding drainage system, then check the pipes. Keep in mind you can’t start any leveling before fixing drainage issue.
2. Damaged Sprinklers
If it’s not the drainage system, it’s probably your sprinkler. Sprinklers that are leaking, watering inconsistently or over watering can also erode lawn soil.
Therefore, check if the spray heads are working correctly. Also, make sure the nozzles are not clogged or broken.
3. Animal Damage
If your pets are digging up the lawn soil, you need to stop them from doing so. Other than that, large earthworms like night crawlers tend to infest and erode the soil too.
You can prevent these by lowering the pH level of the soil. Ant mounds also create uneven bumps on the lawn. You need to use pesticides to destroy the ant mounds.
4. Ground Settling
Ground settling causes depressions in the lawn that make it uneven. But if this happens due to extreme freezing and thawing during winter time, there’s nothing you can do.
In spring you may notice some places are dipped and some are high because of soil not thawing evenly.
However, placing heavy equipment can also cause bumps on the lawn. You can avoid this by not storing large equipment on the lawn.
Uses Of A Lawn Leveling Rake
Did you know you can do more than just level your lawn with the rake you just built? Yes, the leveling rake would also help you in performing several other tasks around the yard. We’ve mentioned a few below.
1. Collecting Fallen Leaves
Are you tired of collecting fallen leaves during winter and fall? Don’t worry. Your leveling rake would make this task much quicker and easier.
The wide head of the rake collects more leaves in much shorter time. Also, you can pile them conveniently. As a result, disposing fallen leaves becomes super quick.
2. Removing Weeds
Weed infestation in your lawn? Just run the leveling rake across the soil. The angled teeth will easily and effectively pull out all the weeds.
3. Removing Pondweed
If you have a pond on your property, you know how annoying pond weeds can be. But your handy dandy leveling rake can help you get rid of them too.
Simply dip the rake in the pond and pull the head through the water. All the pondweed will be pulled to the sides. Then you can easily dispose of them.
1. When Is The Best Time To Level My Lawn?
Answer: According to experts, the best time to level your lawn is fall. After freezing winter, the soil gets softer during spring. So, if you level the lawn during spring, the soil settles well and plants develop well up until summer.
2. How Much Do Lawn Leveling Rakes Cost?
Answer: The price depends on the size of the rake. Smaller rakes can be bought at 50-60 dollars. But larger rakes start from 150 dollars and can cost a lot more too.
3. When Do I Fill The Lawn?
Answer: You should add fill during the active growth period of grass. So, fill your lawn starting from April up until September.
4. Will Power Raking Damage My Lawn?
Answer: Yes, power raking can damage the grass. Therefore, you should power rake mid season so that your lawn grass has time to recover before fall.
5. Can I Level Dirt With The Leveling Rake?
Answer: You can level dirt with rake. Just move it in a forward backward motion over the dirt land to evenly spread the soil.
If there are clumps, break those using the teeth. Lastly, using the backside of the rake level out uneven areas.
Wrapping It Up
A bumpy lawn is not just unattractive to look at - it can turn into a health crisis. However, faulty drainage, sprinklers, and other factors can make it difficult to keep a lawn leveled.
A lawn leveling rake can make this task easier.
Nonetheless, we know not everyone can afford an expensive leveling rake. And making a lawn leveling rake is more affordable than buying it. Also, you get to customize it according to your needs.
That is why, we’ve explained the details of making a lawn leveling rake in this article.
So, read our instructions properly and get started. If you follow the steps carefully, you’ll definitely be able to make a good quality rake. Your lawn will be leveled and attractive too!